Active Transportation News from the Eastern Shore and beyond....
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Photo by Julie Pierce (Oct 2019)

This issue includes:


Notes and News
COVID Updates (From Rec NS)
Gaetz Brook Greenway - Updates and images
Nature images close to home
In Other News
Parting Shot

Notes and News: A nip in the air

Cooler days and a splash of fall colour

It is hard to believe that fall is officially here already but the signs are there. The leaves have started to change and the air is cooler,  especially in the evenings. The hummingbirds and geese have begun their journeys south. Thankfully, the mosquitoes seem to be slowing finally, a welcome relief for those of us who have been busy with gardening tasks like raking leaves, preparing the garden for winter, collecting seaweed, starting fall planting and, yes, even arranging beds for next and planning seed requirements. The next outdoor task on many lists could be stacking newly-delivered firewood. This is a season that definitely offers lots of opportunities to be active outside.

In these difficult times of change amid COVID-19 safety restrictions, it has been comforting to watch the seasons change and the rhythms of the natural world continue.  Despite all the stresses and challenges, we can count on the beauty of a Nova Scotia autumn on the Eastern Shore - and around the province.  October is a fine month to plan a trip along our nearby coastline - or to travel to the Valley, the South Shore or farther afield to hike the Cape Breton Highlands.

Enjoy biking and hiking this month when we often have some milder days and weather that is perfect for an outing.  As days get shorter, drivers might have a hard time seeing you on the side of the road so ensure that you wear something visible, especially at dusk and dawn.  Stay safe.  Stay active.  See you in October.

Thanks to: Marty Finch, John Hawkins, Mary MacDonald, Judy Myatt, Mary Elizabeth O'Toole, Darlene Pettitpas and Patricia Richards pictures and content this month.

COVID Updates

Compiled by Recreation Nova Scotia

To date, the Atlantic Region has been keeping the number of COVID cases in check.  Let's continue to stay safe by observing recommended precautions and protocols.  Here are the latest updates.
  • As of Wednesday, Sept 30, Nova Scotia has two active cases of COVID-19. One new case was identified Tuesday, Sept. 29.
  • The current state of emergency extends to Sun. Oct. 4.

Compliled by Recreation Nova Scotia
From the COVID-19 update on, Sept. 22nd provided by Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health:
  • Announced on Friday, September 18, gathering limits for sport and cultural activities will increase to 50 without physical distancing as of October 1st.
  • This gathering limit increase applies to practises, competitions, recreation leagues and organized physical activity, like open swims and skates
  • Unorganized or casual games, that are more social in nature, like pickup basketball or soccer in the park, must adhere to existing gathering rules of small groups of 10 without physical distancing within a maximum of 50 with physical distancing.
  • This increase does not change the gathering limits for spectators, which remains at 50 % capacity of a facility to a maximum of 200 indoors and up to 250 outdoors if the event is organized by a recognized business or organization. If it is not, the maximum number of any gathering is 50.
  • This increase is specifically for those participating in play or required to be there to support play (officials, coaches, medical personnel, etc).
  • Reminder that each facility is unique with different sizes and capacities and have their own reopening plans with rules in place. Contact the facility directing to understand what rules they have in place.
  • Exclusions to this increase include: singing and playing brass and wind instruments who should continue to gather in groups of 10 and physically distance in larger groups
  • Fitness and yoga programs and facilities continue to have their own guidelines
It is important to take ownership of your own health and make decisions and take action to keep yourself safe.
  • Maintain a safe distance from others,
  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors when distancing isn’t always possible to maintain,
  • Use hand sanitizer if there’s limited access to handwashing and avoid touching your face.
  • These personal measures have an impact not just on you personally, but on the community as well.
The hope for the limit increase is that it will allow competition play to resume for most sports, and rehearsals and arts performances as well, so more people can get out and be active doing the things they love.


Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at

Updates are livestreamed on, @nsgov Facebook and YouTube 
Additional Resources:
Government of Canada:

Gaetz Brook Greenway (GBG)

REMINDER:  Parks and trails are open but guidelines about distancing remain. The crushed gravel trail offers a safe, flat surface with sufficient width to maintain the recommended two-metre passing distance.  Staying to the right of the travel surface permits space for safe individual and family biking, running and walking.  If you drive to the trail, remember to leave 2 M (~6 ft.) of space from other vehicles.

Official Trail Opening
This month, the trail amenities contract has been awarded to Humphrys Landscaping and Construction. The work consists of trailhead and other signage, benches, picnic shelter and related items.

Sample of trailhead sign  for East Chezzetcook

The official opening is yet to be scheduled. Naturally, we will be abiding by any public health guidelines in place at that time.  Updates will be posted on Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails Facebook page.

The date for the AGM remains unconfirmed. We are following revised requirements for society AGMs in this time of COVID 19 are are reviewing alternatives for dates and delivery modes, including the possibility of a virtual meeting.  Details will follow.

Watch for updates on our  Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails  Facebook page. Please read the most recent posts for clarification and updates. 
Trail Maintenance
Volunteers continue to monitor the trail to ensure that it is cleared and safe. Thankfully, there was little damage on the GBG after Hurricane Teddy blew through earlier in the month. Only one tree came down and that was quickly cut and cleared by our dedicated volunteers.  Now that the nesting and fledging season as passed and the weather has cooled, volunteer work crews are meeting most weeks.  If you are interested in being part of the trail maintenance crew, contact coordinator Judy Myatt ( to be added to the mailing list.   Judy sends a big thanks to everyone who has volunteered. 
Supporting Community - Working with GBJH 
Thanks to Darlene Pettipas for sending this story.
Our trail clearing efforts have given us an opportunity to partner with the Gaetz Brook Junior High, one of the entry points for the GBG.  COVID 19 safe distancing has led to a number of classes being held outside during the warm opening weeks of this school year.  Because of this, some staff members proposed a plan to place outdoor seating on the school grounds. They contacted SATA Trails to request tree stumps that were being cut along the GBG because they would make perfect stools for this project.   We eagerly said yes, agreeing that it would be a great idea. Students and teachers collected the stumps and lugged them to the school property where they will one day be used to create seating that fits with the natural surroundings.  They will be used as part of an outdoor classroom and available for students during free time, giving them a place to appreciate the nature that exists right outside of their classrooms. 
GBG Bird Walk  (Sept 12 2020) 
On Saturday, Sept. 12. our local bird expert Marty Finch led an early fall migrant bird walk on the GBG for the Nova Scotia Bird Society. The walk was quickly filled to the allowed maximum.  Beginner and experienced birds met at Gaetz Brook Junior High and spent the morning learning how to find and recognize birds by their appearance and their song.  No species count was provided but there were lots of rave reviews.

Marty continues to share wonderful bird pictures that he has captured on our trail.  He always includes helpful tips about where to find them and how to identify ones that you see or hear.  Visit  Friends of Graetz Brook Greenway to see more of Marty's spectacular shots, like his one of a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. 
Sunshine and Sunflowers on the GBG (Sept 2020) 
Scenes on the GBG (Sept 2020) 
A stone pumpkin in the tree - and a 90+ birthday celebration trail walk. 

Friends of the GBG (Activities)

formerly Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA)

We are not currently offering a calendar of group outings.  Please keep an eye on our Friends of the Gaetz Brook Greenway Facebook Group for any new planned or spontaneous walks or bike rides planned by our members.

Enjoying Nature Close to Home

Outings shared by our members

Shore Road (Sept 23, 2020)
Georges Island (Sept 2020)
This August, Georges Island was open for visits weekends in August and September.  New dates have been added to Oct. 11. Details on availability of tickets at visit-georges-island

In Other News...

Active Transportation News

Oct. 18 - McNab's Island Fall Foliage Tours
Two Departure Points:
Halifax: Murphy's on the Water, Cable Wharf, on the Halifax Waterfront
Eastern Passage: A&M Sea Charters 87 Government Wharf Rd, Fisherman's Cove.

$25 (members), $20 (children/youth under 16) $30 (non-members).

Tickets on sale via Eventbrite in September.

For more information on these events contact; or
For updates on our island events, follow us on and Twitter @mcnabsisland and Instagram

Nova Scotia Provincial Parks
COVID-19 safety measures remain in place to protect staff and visitors at provincial parks. We continue to look at how we can adapt and provide safe camping experiences to visitors. Please stay informed and review restrictions before visiting a park. 
  • Due to public health measures, provincial campgrounds are only open to Atlantic Provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Only campers with reservations will be allowed to enter campgrounds. 
  • No more than 6 people shall occupy a campsite unless they are members of a family unit. 
  • No group camping
Full details at Nova Scotia Provincial Parks COVID-19 Updates

Parks Canada
For details of openings and guidelines for National Parks, visit
Parks Canada website about how to visit during COVID-19.

Parks Canada website dedicated to camping during COVID-19

Choose Green Leadership in Municipal Elections

Affordable housing, the Green Network, and climate are already becoming 2020 election issues. Now is our opportunity to prepare HRM for four years of action.

I am excited to share our 2020 HRM Election Toolkit. This is a collaboration between the Ecology Action Centre and Our HRM Alliance and features some of the major topics of the upcoming election including:
  • affordable housing and inclusive development
  • access to nature
  • the Halifax Green Network including action on hotspots like Sandy Lake-Sackville River, Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes and the Purcells Cove Backlands
As well as climate, transportation and more. The guide has sample emails for organizations or citizens, suggested questions, and key links to access your candidates. It's designed to make the process of emailing the candidates in your district take 5-minutes or less! By asking your candidates questions, you can help make the issues that matter to you major election issues and you can begin to form a relationship with your future representatives.

While we are discussing elections here are a few more opportunities:
EAC Candidate Survey and Pledges: All ~90 candidates across HRM have been sent a survey to pledge their support for some of the major issues of this election. All answers will be available by October 8th.
Backlands Forum [October 6th, 7-9PM]: The Alliance is supporting the Backlands Coalition is organizing a forum for candidates of District 11 to speak up on the Backlands and the Halifax Green Network. Stay tuned for information.
BMBCL election survey: View the results here.
Mayoral Candidates Forum: Many of you tuned into the forum which we co-hosted with our Business Improvement District members. If you missed the forum, you can still view it here on Youtube.

Halifax Regional Municipality's election is happening on October 17th. 

For information on how to vote visit

Parting Shot

Warm Fall colours and soft evening light over Head of Chezzetcook  (Sept. 2020)

It is getting cooler but there are still lots of good cycling and walking days.
  Stay safe.

Friends of the GBG Friends of the GBG
Gaetz Brook Greenway Gaetz Brook Greenway
Copyright © 2020 Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA), All rights reserved.

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